SIDNEY — The city of Sidney Community Development Department provides a wide variety of professional development and planning services to the citizens of Sidney. The Department is responsible for ensuring compliance with city ordinances for the development and continued maintenance of every property in the city, including review and approval of permits, inspections, and enforcement of the city’s building, zoning, and property maintenance regulations. Development within the community, grant administration, and special projects keeps the department remained exceptionally busy.
Barbara Dulworth, director, has submitted the following report:
Staff reviews proposed development for compliance with local regulations and presents cases to the Planning Commission or Zoning Board of Appeals as necessary. Staff presented a total of thirteen cases to the Planning Commission in 2019. The majority of these cases were requests for replats and re-zoning requests. A total of seventeen cases were presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals, including conditional uses and variances. Community Reinvestment Area property tax abatements were granted for investments for a downtown building and a manufacturing facility on Campbell Road.
A total of 337 residential building permits were issued in 2019. Residential building permits issued include: new residential units (six permits); additions, porches, and decks, (29 permits); HVAC, electric/gas turn-on, and rewire (155 permits); new garages, accessory buildings and renovations (68 permits); and other miscellaneous permits (79 permits). . Zoning permits issued in 2019 totaled 194 permits. 23 site plan permits were issued for new buildings or expansion of commercial or industrial development with total investments of over $ 13.4 million. In addition, 16 use compliance certificates were issued for new businesses moving into or expanding in an existing building. A total of 57 permits were issued for permanent and temporary signs, and 98 fence permits were issued.
Staff is charged with ensuring that properties throughout Sidney are in compliance with the rules set forth in the city’s Codified Ordinances and the Residential Code of Ohio. Staff inspects property maintenance, signage, occupancy of buildings, and construction activities. They also respond to citizen complaints and inquiries, and administer enforcement actions.
A total of 1,065 violations were addressed in 2019. The greatest number of violations were junk, garbage, and litter (500) with high grass and weed violations following (455). The property owner or occupant corrected 80% of the violations, with the City’s contractor correcting the remaining. City Council enacted a new vacant property registration in 2018 and amended the regulaitons in 2019. A total of 177 properties were sent notices to register the vacant property in 2019. 44 Properties registered in 2019, with 14 exemptions granted from the requirement to register. The newly-formed Vacant Properties Board of Review heard three appeals to the vacant property registration requirements, and upheld the determination in each case.
Major activities for 2020 will include completing the re-writing of the City’s Zoning Code; reviewing local incentives for residential neighborhood rehabilitation and beautification; and projects in the downtown. Development is projected to continue at a steady pace for residential construction, while commercial and industrial development is expected to continue to increase over the next year.